Beginning your smile journey with clear aligners is a huge step toward maintaining your future oral health and achieving the aesthetics you seek! This now widely available appliance has become a top choice among our young patients at Decatur Orthodontics. Dr. Francis and our team are excited to make your experience memorable and would like to provide you with a quick guide to clear aligners for teens, including how they work, why it is your best option, and what you can expect during the treatment process.
The Basics of Clear Aligners
How Do They Work?
Clear aligners are an aesthetic realignment option that offers exceptional care for dental issues without an obvious appearance. Decatur Orthodontics provides this service specifically with Invisalign Teen. The main difference between general Invisalign and Invisalign Teen is the addition of a small dot on the back of your appliance that indicates to Dr. Francis how often you are wearing it.
This modern approach to realigning teeth consists of a series of custom-made plastic trays switched out every two weeks. They gently place pressure on your teeth by shifting them into the place of each new tray until they reach their ideal position. Aligners must be worn between 20-22 hours per day, only being taken off for meals, to provide reliable and timely treatment.
Thanks to advancing orthodontic technology, and notably with Invisalign, our team is able to predict exactly how your teeth will shift with the trays we give you. This way, we can make minor tweaks to achieve the best results.
A Great Option For Teenagers
Many teenagers don’t want a flashy appliance that drastically changes their look. Clear aligners can provide the care they need under a nearly invisible guise while boosting self-esteem.
This is a great opportunity to help demonstrate responsibility to your family since the trays must be in so for so long each day to work. You must be able to make a routine of wearing them and commit to your treatment to get the results you want. Should the trays be taken out too long, it can disturb the treatment plan and require the aligners to be worn for an extended period.
Why Choose Clear Aligners Over Other Options?
Improved Oral Hygiene
With your trays able to be removed, there are no traditional braces components, such as brackets and wires, fixed onto your teeth to work around when it comes to daily brushing and flossing. Before they start aligning, Dr. Francis can bring any hard-to-reach areas of your teeth to your attention so you make a point to polish them. Removing any lingering pieces of food is especially important so that they do not get trapped in your trays and cause a build-up of bacteria.
No Food Restrictions
With metal braces, you must be conscious of crunchy or hard foods you eat so as not to damage or break your appliance. However, clear aligners offer the flexibility and enjoyment of eating as usual while working towards a straight smile. You have free reign as long as you remember to take your trays out before eating and put them straight back in after your post-meal clean-up to ensure your teeth continue to shift according to schedule.
Thanks to being made out of smooth plastic, you don’t have to worry about the discomfort that stems from irritation or mouth sores caused by a metal appliance! Your gums, teeth, and lips will experience minimal friction, allowing you to continue your day-to-day activities comfortably.
What You Can Expect During The Treatment Process
During your initial examination, Dr. Francis and one of our orthodontic treatment coordinators will conduct a comprehensive examination of your teeth, including a physical check, take photos of your bite, and a panoramic x-ray to better understand your orthodontic needs. If Dr. Francis determines Invisalign Teen is your best treatment option, we can begin working toward your new smile!
Maintainance and Appointment Check-Ins
Once the trays have been made and properly fitted, you will be on your way to beginning treatment! With this option, you will only need to come into the office every six to eight weeks for check-ins. These check-ins allow our team to ensure your teeth are moving in the right direction and you use best practices to care for the aligners.
As mentioned, remember to remove your trays before each meal and quickly clean them after your teeth to get rid of any lingering plaque or bacteria. Any remnants of food left behind that get stuck after trays are placed back in your mouth can quickly lead to tooth decay, thus prolonging treatment time. You can expect the realignment process to take an average of 9 to 15 months before reaching the perfect alignment.
After completing each phase of your trays and your teeth are finished shifting, Decatur Orthodontics will provide a retainer similar in appearance to your clear aligners that you will need to wear to keep your teeth from moving back to their original position. Regular oral hygiene can ensure your teeth stay in the best condition.
Keep A Care Kit Handy
Of course, you won’t always have everyday care items on hand outside your home. To properly care for your teeth and clear aligners while you are out and about, Decatur Orthodontics recommends you keep a small care kit with you so you are ready for anything that comes your way.
Don’t forget to include a toothbrush and toothpaste to provide care after meals. When unable to brush out pesky food pieces, bring some floss to remove it more precisely. Mouthwash can also be packed to handle breath issues, but trays must be removed before use.
Let Clear Aligners Lead The Way To A Straight Smile
Our team serves Decatur and its surrounding communities with expert-level orthodontic care. You can count on us to reach your family’s smile goals and provide an incredible experience they will never forget. Nothing makes our team happier than a beaming smile after your clear aligners are finished! Give our office a call and schedule your free consultation to learn more about your orthodontic needs today.